Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher

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Are you craving a delicious, steamy portion of mashed potatoes but do not happen to have a potato masher? Well, have no fear — I have the answer and am here to tell you how you certainly can make mashed potatoes without a masher! And it happens to be incredibly easy.

While it would certainly seem like you would need to have a masher in order, to well, mash potatoes, this isn’t necessarily the case. And contrary to the method I use in my gnocchi recipe where I show you how to rice potatoes without a ricer, you don’t really need anything other than a wooden spoon (or even a fork) to get to the desired results.

Mashed potatoes are one of the top comfort foods in the world and knowing that you don’t need ANY special equipment to make them can be great news to those looking to make a hearty side dish to Thanksgiving dinner or even for, say, my lamb shank recipe.

While this mash won’t be absolutely lump-free (I actually enjoy some texture in my mashed potatoes, anyway), this method is both incredibly easy and really accessible to anyone.

So if you’re wondering how to make mash potatoes without a masher, follow this recipe. You won’t be disappointed!

Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher
Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher

How to Make Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher

The first step in the mashed potatoes recipe is to, quite obviously, cook your potatoes.

I recommend using a waxy variety of potato for this recipe as it has a lower starch content and will prevent your mash from getting stiff and gluey if you happen to overwork it in the mashing phase. Yukon Gold potatoes are the, mind the pun, gold standards for mashed potatoes. But new potatoes are also a good option.

Start by scrubbing and peeling your potatoes. It actually isn’t entirely necessary to peel the potatoes if you enjoy having a rustic mash with some peel in it, I just prefer it without so I peel mine.

Ingredients for this mashed potatoes recipe
Ingredients for this mashed potatoes recipe

Cut the potatoes into uniform pieces that are about 5 centimetres (2 inches) wide. If you have smaller potatoes that are already this size, it isn’t super necessary to cut them at all.

Add your potatoes to a large pot full of cold water. Generously salt the water (this is the easiest way to ensure that your final mash is even seasoned) and set the pot over medium heat.

Potatoes after they've finished boiling
Potatoes after they’ve finished boiling

Bring the water to a boil and allow the potatoes to boil until they are very fork-tender but not quite breaking down. This will take about 20 minutes, but I like to start checking at around the 15-minute mark to ensure I haven’t overcooked them.

Once the potatoes are cooked, turn of the heat, drain them and return them to the pot. Add in your butter and allow it to melt slightly from the heat of the potatoes and the pot while you warm your milk mixture.

Adding the butter to the potatoes
Adding the butter to the potatoes

Then, over low heat in a small saucepan, add your milk and buttermilk and heat it just until steaming. You don’t want to bring this to a boil (or even a simmer) as too much heat will cause the buttermilk to separate.

If you don’t have buttermilk, you can also sub in a bit of sour cream, creme fraiche or simply only use whole milk. If you do the latter, you won’t have the tang that I think works really well in these mashed potatoes, but they will still taste really good.

Once the milk is steamy, turn off the heat. Moving to your potatoes, using the back of a large wooden spoon, smash the potatoes against the side of the pot until they are very broken up, trying to incorporate the butter as you do so.

Adding the milk and buttermilk to the potatoes
Adding the milk and buttermilk to the potatoes

Then, slowly stream your milk mixture into the potatoes, a little at a time, stirring and breaking up the potatoes more as you do. You may not have to use the entire milk mixture — it really depends on how thick or loose you want your final mash to be.

Continue smashing the potatoes against the side of the pan until they are almost completely mashed – you won’t be able to get them perfectly smooth using this method, but you can ensure there are only very small lumps.

Mashing the potatoes with no masher!
Mashing the potatoes with no masher!

Be careful not to work the potatoes too much, however, as they can get a bit gluey and tough in texture the more you fuss with them. But, basically, that is how you mash potatoes without a masher!

Now, taste the potatoes for seasoning and add salt and pepper where needed. A lot of mashed potatoes recipes call for white pepper to avoid black specks, but I don’t care much about this and tend to use black pepper.

Mashed potatoes ready to serve
Mashed potatoes ready to serve

If you desire, you can also stir in a good amount of finely chopped chives for a bit of extra flavour.

Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher

Mashed Potatoes Without a Masher

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Don't have a potato masher? No problem! These mashed potatoes may not be silky smooth but will taste delicious without the need for a masher.


  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 5cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 50g butter
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • Salt & pepper
  • Fresh chives, minced


  1. In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with generously salted cool water and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a vigorous simmer and allow to simmer until the potatoes are completely tender when pierced with a fork but not yet breaking down, about 25 minutes. Turn off the heat. Drain and return to pot.
  2. When potatoes are almost finished cooking, add milk and buttermilk to a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat and swirling often, heat the milk mixture until just steaming. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the pot with the potatoes. Using a wooden spoon, crush the potatoes against the sides of the pot until they're broken down and the butter melts.
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the potatoes and stir, gently, continuing to break the potatoes down with the spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve garnished with freshly chopped chives, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 255mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 8g

Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

And that is how you make delicious, creamy buttermilk mashed potatoes without a potato masher! The recipe is easy and accessible with only the most basic of kitchen equipment.

Are you wondering how to mash potatoes without a masher? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More

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